IBM sues company for selling fake, flammable batteries

IBM is suing a company for selling fake IBM batteries that catch fire.

IBM is suing Shentech for selling laptop batteries that catch fire and sport allegedly fake IBM logos.

The suit, filed Nov. 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, accuses Shentech of trademark infringement, false advertising, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices.

IBM says that a consumer in Ohio bought a battery from Shentech for a ThinkPad laptop. The battery overheated and caught fire, causing damage to the laptop, IBM said. The user reported the problem to Lenovo, which licenses the IBM trademark. After examining the faulty battery, IBM discovered that it was not a genuine IBM battery, the company said in the suit.

IBM then ordered 12 batteries from Shentech and found them all to be fakes, IBM said.

IBM asks the court to require Shentech to turn over all of the batteries so that IBM can destroy them. IBM also asks for all the profits that Shentech earned from the sale of the batteries. In addition, IBM wants treble damages or US$1 million per counterfeit mark per type of item sold.

The Shentech.com Web site continues to list ThinkPad batteries for sale, as well as a host of other electronic devices and components. Shentech appears to be a Web-only operation with a mailing address in Flushing, New York. It describes its secret to success as its "ability to provide cutting edge computer technology parts at bargain prices."

No one from Shentech could be reached immediately for comment.

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